Childhood Cancer Awareness Month | My Son.

I can still recall with great clarity the moment we were told our son has cancer.  I remember the nausea, the disbelief, the spinning room, my muffled screams. Surely, there must have been some sort of mistake.

My ignorance up until this point had been gloriously blissful. I never in a million years thought this would ever happen to our family.

But there was no mistake about it.

My son has been receiving chemotherapy for a little over two years now.

My son Ezra  is the bravest, strongest, most vivacious little boy you ever will meet. My son has leukemia.

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Our lives and our outlooks have changed over these last two years.  The initial shock has worn off, but that doesn’t make it any easier.  Certain parts, perhaps, but as a whole it has not gotten any less complex.

It never gets any easier to restrain my baby as people poke him with needles and prod him with machines.

It never gets any easier to watch him cry, or to listen to those heart wrenching screams of his.

It never gets any easier to look into his pleading eyes, and not be able to answer those pleas.

The other day when they went to  access Ezra’s port with a needle, he screamed “I’m dying, I’m dying!” or when he told us he doesn’t want to be sick anymore….I feel so very helpless.

 

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I know we will beat this.

The cure rate is phenomenal for his type of leukemia, its just that small grey area that worries me.

I have moments where I emotionally berate myself, because I feel as his mother, I should be able to fix this.

And I can’t.

I can’t make it better.

My love alone won’t cure him.

That my friends, is one of the hardest parts to accept.

I can’t wrap myself around him, hold him close and cure him with my kisses.

I can only care for him as best as I possibly can, and have faith that his doctors know how to cure his tainted blood.

But such is life.

Horrid things happen to really virtuous people. Amazing things happen to really immoral people.

Babies get cancer and morons win the lottery.

While fairness is a commendable notion in theory, it is just not plausible.

Life is not fair, it does not play favorites.

Revel in your bliss, count your blessings each and every day, you never know when life may throw you a deviant curve ball.

I can not stress it enough…life is too short!

Live with no regrets. Love freely. Flourish in everything you do.

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This is our reality. And we are not alone, tens of thousands of other parents share our story. Over 10,000 children a year are diagnosed with cancer. AND THE INCIDENT RATE IS RISING. Roughly 2,000 children will lose their fight against cancer every year.

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month. Sadly, most people don’t know this.

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And trust me I get it. No one wants to think about sick children and dying children. To think about it, means you have to admit to it’s existence. You have to admit that this does happen to people, and that there is a small chance it may happen to you. It is far easier to turn a blind eye. I know this, because this is what I did too. Until it happened to me.

I am implore you though, don’t be like me. Don’t turn a blind eye. These kids and families need your help. There are ways you can help  that won’t even cost you a dime.

Help

-Donate blood at Red Cross or Life South

-Donate baby’s umbilical cord, most hospitals have this option, please ask. Or contact Cord Blood Registry

-Donate bone marrow, sign up at the National Marrow Donor Program

*These three things alone could save a child, and it doesn’t cost you a dime.

Give

Nellie’s Catwalk 4 Kids , this is a wonderful organization that donated so many Christmas present to my boys one year.

Layla Grace Foundation

Make A Wish

Give Kids The World

American Childhood Cancer Organization

The National Children’s Cancer Society

 

Lastly, you can share this post on Facebook, like this post (see below), Twitter, Blogger, email, etc. Please help spread the word.

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month, and its about time we all knew about it.

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Lauren HSeptember 1, 2011 - 2:08 pm

Beth, your post brings tears to my eyes. Ezra will beat this because he is a very strong and brave boy. But he's only a strong and brave boy because he has wonderful role model to follow – You! You are so strong, brave and amazing. I am always in awe of your strength.

PaigeSeptember 1, 2011 - 2:39 pm

Beth, yall are so strong, and I admire your beautiful family! As a nurse who works with medically fragile kids I see the resilience that they have every day and they amaze me!! Children can overcome so many things that would absolutely devastate adults…and they do it all with a smile on their face!

Cindy ZouSeptember 1, 2011 - 2:54 pm

I donate blood regularly. We donated our children's cord blood. You have moved me to sign up for the National Bone Marrow Program.

*Lissa*September 1, 2011 - 3:17 pm

Beth, this is such a moving post. The photos of Ezra crying made my heart break. You are an amazing family and I am constantly in awe of you and your beautiful little boy. xoxo

Mighty MSeptember 1, 2011 - 3:46 pm

What an inspiring post! Love the pictures – my son always wants to wear his undies backwards too (so the picture is on the front!). :)

Burton FamilySeptember 1, 2011 - 5:27 pm

So moving and touching, tears are literally running down my face. Our love and prayers are sent your way. Our Lucas gave cord blood, I have donated blood and my dad is religious about blood donation. The pictures are amazing, I know we wish no child would ever suffer that is for sure.

CoriSeptember 1, 2011 - 6:18 pm

My sister Lynzi was diagnosed with ALL at age 4. She is now 21 and going to school to be a teacher and considered cured. You have done an amazing job putting a voice and image to what it is like to go through pediatric cancer. Praying for your son and family. Thank you for sharing your son's story. God bless.

Connie WeissSeptember 1, 2011 - 8:55 pm

I've told you this before…

You are the strongest mother I've ever known.

You are an inspiration!

AnonymousSeptember 1, 2011 - 9:30 pm

I know exactly how you feel about taking Ezra's pain away as a mother I never want to see my kids in pain I can't imagine what you guys are going through my prayers are with you. The photos are beautiful.

EliseSeptember 1, 2011 - 11:07 pm

You are such an inspiring mother and person, Beth! You may not be able to cure Ezra with your hugs and kisses, but you can certainly make his journey a better one with your presence and your love. He is lucky to have you for a mother. He is an amazing boy and I know you all will pull through this. Prayers and love your way, girl! :)

KirstenSeptember 1, 2011 - 11:38 pm

I would also highly recommend donating to St. Baldrick's foundation. Most cancer research does not focus on childhood cancer and therefore most treatments are not necessarily tailored for children. St. Baldrick's gives their money entirely to providing funds for studies on treatments for childhood cancer, and their reports on BBB are great.

ElenaSeptember 2, 2011 - 12:39 am

This is beautiful in a different way.. It's soo heart breaking…sad…but it shows his courage… a families courage.. it shows the superhero in Ezra… How someone so little could be so courageous…. How a mother…a family can be so strong for their child. I see sick children all the time.. and it's never easy to have to stick them for blood…an IV…and esp an LP. Your story alone will be an inspiration for other people going through the same thing. We can't take things for granted… God does things for mysterious reasons… but I will be sending prays your way…to Ezra.. He inspires me :0) you inspire me :0) He can beat this!

AnonymousSeptember 2, 2011 - 12:57 am

Your images are amazing…
What a truly intimate look into this hideous disease…
You are a true inspiration…
Godspeed to you and Ezra and those who love you…

AnonymousSeptember 2, 2011 - 11:29 am

I believe that everyone should read this. Its an amazingly beautiful post. It lets people see from the inside. kim minyard

kimertSeptember 2, 2011 - 2:07 pm

Your strength still amazes me, to this very day. Ezra is a strong boy too. COntinued prayers for all of you! Thank you again for sharing this story.

Beth P.September 2, 2011 - 2:09 pm

Your boy is so beautiful! He's got a lifetime of spunk to share with you and the world and I sincerely hope others will spread the word about the causes you listed to help him and others just like him. I'm off to do so right now…

Kelly DeneenSeptember 2, 2011 - 2:27 pm

Beth, your post and beautiful pictures break my heart and makes me cry. You are dealing with every parent's worst nightmare. You are so strong and brave and so is Ezra. I am visiting from SITS and will gladly spread your message. You are an inspiration. I will keep you and Ezra in my thoughts. *hugs*

eHarrisSeptember 2, 2011 - 2:37 pm

So I'm sitting at work reading your post and looking at your stunning (as always) photos…and tears are streaming down my face. I love you guys, you are truly my inspiration for being a better person….and in particular you and Ezra are my inspiration to cherish and enjoy every moment I have with my own baby girl. Thank you! We'll be making some donations in Ezra's honor. :)

JamieSeptember 2, 2011 - 3:10 pm

Ezra, you are a hero. And beautiful. And I wish you all the best in the future. That your chemo kicks cancer's butt and that, in two years time, your treatments are just a distant memory and a bad dream.

Cancer, you are a miserable, insufferable thing and I hate you.

Mama? Stay strong. You're amazing.

Just MeSeptember 2, 2011 - 3:13 pm

incredible post. I am registered with the bone marrow donor list, I would be honored to donate something that could be so helpful to someone else.

your son is amazing. you are an amazing mom.

Laura@JourneyChicSeptember 2, 2011 - 3:14 pm

This was so beautifully written. Thank you for sharing it through SITS Girls. I have tears in my eyes. My boy is almost 14 months. I love him with every fiber of my being, and can't begin to imagine what you and your husband must have felt when your bubble of innocence was broken with the diagnosis. Your son is an adorable, brave little man. My thoughts are with you.

Secret Mom ThoughtsSeptember 2, 2011 - 3:24 pm

beautifully written. Your photos and words are so powerful. Stay strong. My thoughts are with you.

my3littlebirdsSeptember 2, 2011 - 3:30 pm

Thank you so much for opening up your life to us like this.

Livin' The Green- AnneSeptember 2, 2011 - 3:37 pm

Thank you for sharing your story Beth. Your son is beautiful and I can just see the strength in his eyes. You are amazing, I can't even begin to imagine what you are going through. I know there is no other option than to stay strong and positive for everyone but it is okay (and needed) to sometimes shout, cry, and get mad alone…or not alone :)

I was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was 30 and 8 months pregnant with my third son. It is one thing when it happens to you, but another when it is your child. My heart goes out to you and your family.

PS Ezra is just precious. Love the picture of the band aid on his back with his little Transformer undies.

Wendy KaeSeptember 2, 2011 - 3:43 pm

What a handsome, amazing little boy. Prayers to him and to you too, as the mother that can't cure him, but loves him enough to heal him. The most helpless feeling in the world, not being able to make it better for your child. You are being blessed and will continue to be, I know, because God loves His little children, and we are all His little children.

StefanieSeptember 2, 2011 - 3:48 pm

Ezra is beautiful (and so are you mom!). Thank you for sharing your story. I will do my best to share it with everyone I know!

Caren with a "C"September 2, 2011 - 4:07 pm

You bring tears to my eyes as I recall my little sister's battle and all the little friends she made in the oncology ward. May God bless your family and especially Ezra and all his little friends.

Shari@Rain into RainbowsSeptember 2, 2011 - 5:18 pm

I read this with tears in m eyes as well. As a parent of a daughter who was born with a congenital deformity, I saw many children during our time in the hospital. All of the children were always so brave, so accepting.

Ezra is such a sweet little guy. My prayers with be with your family as well as other families who are affected by childhood cancer.

AidéSeptember 2, 2011 - 5:20 pm

Your post made me cry like I havent in a long time. I know a child who has a brain tumor, she is 7 and on her way to have her second brain surgery, she is like Ezra brave and happy all the time. God bless Ezra and your family!

MelissaSeptember 2, 2011 - 5:34 pm

I want to say thank you. From one mom to another who has gone thru the same thing. You have said it beautifully! Prayers to you and your family.

{Inspire Me,Beautiful.}September 2, 2011 - 6:57 pm

I am visiting over from SITS. I'm sitting choked up at this post, and I just want to wrap my arms around you and give you a big hug!
He seems like such a strong little boy.
I'll be praying for you and your family.

Love always,
)(ope*

dosweatthesmallstuffSeptember 3, 2011 - 3:54 am

Keeping Ezra in my prayers. No other words can describe how I feel when I read this post of yours. But tears wouldn't do any good, would it? So I'm praying… and will keep on praying for your son's recovery.

Teresa1982September 3, 2011 - 4:49 am

Oh my goodness. What a beautiful boy! You will win this fight!

Sewing-ChickSeptember 3, 2011 - 11:32 am

Your post brought tears to my eyes. Praying hard for Ezra! On a side note, Janelle Krumlauf ("Nellie" of Nellie's catwalk 4 kids) is a former student of mine- I had her in 5th and 6th grades- what a great kid!

AnonymousSeptember 3, 2011 - 11:54 am

Your story brought tears to my eyes, may God bless the children and your son to recovery and be with him and your family during this time, be strong I am praying for you and your son at this time….

DebbieSeptember 3, 2011 - 3:15 pm

What an amazing little boy. My prayers go out to Ezra and your family. God bless all of you.

Sassy MomSeptember 3, 2011 - 6:04 pm

Words cannot express how much I admire you. I completely understand the helpless feeling you have as a mother that you can't fix everything. Your pictures are amazing. You can see the spirit,determinaton and fight in your beautiful son's eyes. Thank you for sharing this journey with us.

MissySeptember 3, 2011 - 8:43 pm

You are amazing. I am sure it's hard to keep such a positive attitude all the time. Next time it's hard, read this post of yours. These words will help many people.

TiffanySeptember 5, 2011 - 1:46 am

I just happened to click on SITS today and found you. Amazing. There really aren't powerful enough words.

Ann OdleSeptember 5, 2011 - 2:30 am

I didn't want to read this; I didn't want to know this. But its real, and you and your family are living with it every day. I hope it helps to know that you're not alone; that by sharing your beautiful, strong son with us all, makes a difference.
It makes me want to make a difference too. God bless you and your family!

AletheaSeptember 5, 2011 - 7:04 pm

Forced myself to read this, and though I'm blinking back tears, I'm so glad I did.

God bless you and your family, and know that I will continue to donate to St. Jude's, as I've done for many years, but now I will do it for someone I "know."

MoomserSeptember 5, 2011 - 9:45 pm

I just found you through SITS. You are going through a terrible ordeal. My husband was diagnosed with leukemia two years ago, right after the birth of our second daughter, he did the chemo, radiation therapy and transplant and in February the leukemia came back. He went through all the treatment again and for now his blood is clean, he's back at work and doing well. I know that an adult having leukemia isn't comparable to a child having it, I have a small (not a full) understanding of what your son is going through and what your family is going through and all I can say is that I'll pray for y'all and send you positive vibes. So here's to Ezra being a happy, healthy five year old.

Side Street StyleSeptember 5, 2011 - 10:45 pm

HI

I found you through SITS and I have to say this blog is one of the most moving and beautiful blogs I have read in a longtime. You are so brave, I have a son who is 11months and I just don't know if I would cope if this happened to us. You are an amazing person and you will get through this – because you have to. These photos are inspiring and moving and I send all my prayers your way.

Laura x

Alisa@inseamSeptember 6, 2011 - 3:21 am

Wow! So touching….You and your son and family are truly brave and I admire your strength while dealing with this life situation!

CharlotteSeptember 6, 2011 - 4:27 pm

Your pictures–and Ezra's beautiful spirit–really shine through in this post. I wish you continued strength and am sending Ezra healthy healing vibes. Thanks for sharing your story with us. XOXO

NancySeptember 8, 2011 - 9:33 pm

Your photos, your story, and your son are so moving and inspiring! I have shared this site on facebook and would like to put the photo of Ezra coloring as my profile pic for the rest of the month. I hope that is okay?

CamilletaSeptember 12, 2011 - 6:55 am

I will definitely share this. I hope Ezra is doing well!!

ChristaCarolSeptember 13, 2011 - 4:50 am

I've shared this on my facebook page. I use to write, so I had a blog dedicated to that profession. But June 24, my 2 1/2 year old girl was diagnosed with high risk ALL (one day after I had my third kiddo) and it's been such a wild ride. I decided this evening it was time to connect with this piece of my life through the blogging world instead of hiding away and hoping I'll wake up and it has all been a freakish nightmare. Thank you for sharing your story and your beautiful photography of Ezra. My little girl is Alaina. She has cancer. Her port is on her left side. Going through these photos brings a sadness and a strength to me at the same time. We WILL get through this, and so will our kids. Blessings to you and yours.

ChristaCarol Jones http://christacarol.blogspot.com

Jenny @ flutterbyechroniclesOctober 2, 2011 - 2:48 pm

Sharing this. Ya'll are a very brave and strong family. Those pictures of Ezra break my heart.

TrishOctober 17, 2011 - 10:57 pm

I just found your blog, our little girl was just diagnosed with ALL a couple of weeks ago. It's so nice to see your little boy all happy and healthy, he's such a huge inspiration! Trish

GiselleNovember 8, 2011 - 12:47 am

I just stumbled upon your blog. Your story breaks my heart. My prayers will be with your family and your baby Ezra.

dawnNovember 12, 2011 - 6:28 pm

I just linked to your blog through another. Childhood illnesses scare me to death. Thank you for the list of ways to help. I am going to check in to them now and choose something that we as a family can do for the holidays and more.

May your little man feel better very soon.

Hollie AnnDecember 21, 2011 - 4:21 am

I am just reading this from your other blog. What a beautiful boy you have. I can tell in his eyes what a strong person & baby he is. I know you will get through this. Thank you for sharing! I hope Ezra has an amazing Christmas.

Tambi ClardyJanuary 26, 2012 - 4:03 am

Found your blog looking for a way to build a blog button. Such beautiful and heartbreaking photos. I read this post with tears streaming down my face. You are such a strong women and fantastic mother. Thank you for sharing your families story. Sending prayers your way.

Tambi @ http://tambijeanne.blogspot.com/

Jackie CJanuary 29, 2012 - 3:09 pm

I have been a long time fan of your blog… I think of you often. You are a beautiful family and mother. God bless you. I hope you can blog again more about your beautiful son's life! God bless you always. {internet hugs}

AnonymousFebruary 8, 2012 - 3:21 pm

Your blog has tears streaming down my face. My 4 year old son was diagnosed with cancer 18 days ago. The feeling of helplessness is almost overwhelming. Good luck in your journey I wish you continued success.

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